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TOP DOG – S/t Album Review

topdog“Welcome to our world, where the sun don’t fucking shine, welcome to our world, where you gotta tow the line” is the belting chorus from Cumbrian Oi band Top Dog.

Their self-titled debut album is full of references to a grey working class life and the struggles associated with living in England. Welcome to our World is a cracking song with an early Sham 69 vibe. It’s heavy, chunky and the terrace chant chorus is a real fist-pumper.

Violence is a faster punkier effort and does away with any subtle references with a straight up “violence is all I’ve ever known” – the entire album has a feel of street punk with an undercurrent of flailing fists and boots. Clockwork Warrior begins with a bass heavy, slow intro before launching into a manic speed bomb of a song.

Were you a Bootboy? Is a full on Oi classic doubting the authenticity of a so-called “Bootboy” – it’s a fun track and one of the strongest on the album. The band is tight and they know their stuff and the lyrics are unapologetically full of working class references. Football fighting and anti-police are covered with 69 Stitches referring to a hospital visit and a desire to get out and fight again…

Carve Her Name With Pride is a version of a love song with the classic lyric “When you got a skinhead girl walking by your side, carve, carve, carve her name with pride!” Loved it!

Real Heroes is an absolutely blistering effort celebrating those in the military. It’s the first time the band veer into what I would call right wing territory but more from a celebration of tough soldiers than anything else. House of Pain takes on the spineless wife-beater and it leaves nothing to the imagination – Top Dog have zero tolerance for men who hit their wives…

By the time the closing track Shoot to Kill hits your ears, it feels as though you’ve spent an hour in the moshpit with a bunch of skinheads. Top Dog are the real deal, a modern day 4-Skins singing about the trials and tribulations of being a working class lad in England in 2016.

Stumpy – Punk Online


Track Listing

  1. Welcome To My World
    2. Botchergate
    3. Violence
    4. Clockwork Warrior
    5. Were You A Bootboy
    6. ACAB
    7. 69 Stitches
    8. Carve Her Name With Pride
    9. Real Heroes
    10. Like Father Like Son
    11. House Of Pain
    12. Monster
    13. Shoot To Kill



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